A rare limited edition Tintin comic is set to become the most expensive in Europe when it goes under the hammer for up to £100,000.
The 1943 edition of Les Aventres De Tintin ‘L’ile Noire’ is one of three known copies left in the world.
But this edition is considered the rarest of the three because it includes handwritten notes and cut-out panels by author Hergé.
The notes ask his assistants to redraw certain panels, highlighting how much of a perfectionist the Belgian cartoonist was.
It will be sold by Catawiki, an online auction for specialist items, and is expected to fetch a whopping £100k.
The week-long auction started on Tuesday and bidding has already reached £40,000.
Patrick Vranken, comic book expert at Catawiki, said: “The album was printed in 1943 on request of illustrator Hergé in a private circulation of only ten pieces, meant for newspapers who could use it for publication.
“However, the book in the auction was never sent, but was later used by Hergé as a working document to prepare a modern version of the original book.”
In the early 1940s, publisher Casterman asked Hergé to make a colour edition out of the eight published black-and-white albums.
However, because colour print was more expensive and paper was rare due to the Second World War, the number of pages had to be brought down from 140 to 62.
Hergé wanted to send the pages to different foreign newspapers to use them for publication once complete but feared the Germans would find loose pages suspicious.
He decided to have them made into ten albums with a cover.
In 1963, when Hergé wanted to make an improved and modern version of ‘The Black Island’, he used this remaining book as a document to make notes for his assistants.
A textless version of ‘Tintin in Africa’ from 1948 was sold at a Catawiki auction for €40,000 last year.